Some of the Reasons I Love Victoria

5 05 2014


There are the obvious reasons to love Victoria — a pretty harbour, the ocean, tea at the Empress, Butchart Gardens and all the lovely sights that attract tourists, but I love it for reasons that may not be obvious to many tourists. I love Victoria because of its daily surprises that make me laugh, make me catch my breath, or cause me to sigh in contentment. None of them are that extraordinary but they have the cumulative power to delight. Today, for example, I was driving near Dallas Road that runs along the ocean for several miles and was delighted by a thin layer of fog that was creeping up over the sea wall and swirling around the feet of people walking along the pathway and scuttling across the road in long white fingers. It danced and swirled and was a beautiful surprise on a rather grey day.

I love the fact that flowers can be found almost all year long but in the spring the city almost literally explodes with colour. Azaleas and lilacs and rhododendrons (couldn’t someone have come up with a more beautiful name for this lush delight?), and tulips and especially the cherry blossoms and plum blossoms and apple blossoms that fill the sky with frothy pink and white blossoms. I love the pink snow that covers the walkways and curbsides as the blossoms give way to green leaves.

I love that the city is full of quirky and interesting people — the old guy that walks around in all kinds of weather with really short shorts and a winter jacket, looking for all the world like he forgot to put on his pants that morning and the woman who pedals her bike with her multicoloured skirt blowing behind her and her big hat held on her head with a sensible bike helmet, and the old women with their grocery trundles, and the man in a motorized  wheelchair who is a regular at the coffee shops in Cook Street Village who is greeted warmly by the staff who bring over his coffee which he enjoys while reading his kindle. I love that almost invariably, when you stop to let a pedestrian cross the street, they will nod and mouth thank you to you for doing so, even though it is their right to cross the street. I love that many people stop and say thank you to the bus driver before getting off the bus. And I love the bustle of old and young people and their dogs and babies in the Village.

I love that when I go to the rec centre, there are people there using walkers and canes, the in-betweenerss like me, and the seriously fit all coexisting and getting on with whatever is going to make us feel healthy and well. I love that I can go for a walk any day of the year and that if it snows it will likely be gone in a couple of days so it’s kind of exciting while it lasts. I love the fact that it’s difficult to find a restaurant that has unhealthy food. I love that every trades person and repairman I’ve encountered is polite and kind and usually on time. I love the concerts in the summer at Butchart Gardens and the merry forest of umbrellas that spring up if it rains.I love taking the drive along Dallas Road and Beach Drive — especially at sunset — or joining the legions of walkers and runners enjoying the long pathway by the sea. I love the silvery water with sailboats in the distance when I walk at Willows Beach. I love the sun pouring into my patio garden and the fat raccoons that waddle through at times. I love seeing a peacock or two or three strolling down my street — fugitives from Beacon Hill Park. I love the deer standing at the corner in Oak Bay (although the residents aren’t too keen) as though they’re going for a stroll and waiting to cross the street.

I love the incredibly creamy, smooth, yummy soft ice cream cones at the Beacon Hill Drive-in. I love the quirky fairy tale houses  and the haphazard streets and lane ways filled with flowers and bicycles in James Bay. I love the sound of the horses clip-clopping by as they pull tourists in old-fashioned carriages through the park and around James Bay and Fairfield. I love the sound of a lone bagpiper who practices in the park and the squeals of children from a distance in the playground.  I love the baristas at Bubby”s Kitchen who know how to make a great low fat latte. I love Munro’s Books with its heady smell of old and new books in its beautiful old interior. And I love that drivers are mindful of bikes and pedestrians and make an effort to coexist with one another. I love that I live here and am able to enjoy this magical place every day. I am blessed.





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